Asian pear tree form training, help.

sunny-orchard(7A_VA)April 22, 2014

Hi all,

How do you guys train these beasts? Any pros and cons for open center vs central leader. I want to train them open center like peaches. However everything i read online said to train them central leader. On central leader, how do you control height? I have 3 planted two autumns ago. They slept last yr but this year seems to be kicking in gear. I planted them 12' apart. What is the best way to train them to be most productive 12' apart? They are bout 3' - 5' tall now (single trunk no branch). Do I remove all the fruit? Can i leave 1 or 2?


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

A 3-5ft tree with no branches really doesn't need fruit especially if it didn't grow last year. Leaving 1-2 per tree probably won't hurt but the tree needs to grow a lot more than last year or you're wasting space and time.

Pears can be spread out to form a bigger tree but you've got to have branches to spread. An open center isn't likely in the long run without a lot of work because pears are so vertical in growth habit.

Concentrate this year on getting some growth. Usually that requires water, fertilizer mainly nitrogen, and weed control including mulch.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 2:56PM
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alan haigh

I think you can train any tree to an open center- what can be difficult and finally defeating is training some species, and or varieties to central leader. For a tree with an upright growth habit a central leader can be helpful in eventually getting to an open center- either for using the trunk to help push out branches to more horizontal with branch spreaders or using lower temporary branches to tie or tape higher branches to a more horizontal position.

A 3 to 5' whip is the least tree I would want to plant to begin with- better when it's already got some branches to work with. I agree you shouldn't be thinking about fruit now and I wouldn't keep a single one on a tree that small.

If you want scaffolds to start at 24 inches or any point less than your trees current height, I would cut the tree to the height you want the first branches. Several shoots should appear soon, probably all of them almost immediately below the cut.

Rather than getting all your scaffolds at that point you should choose one shoot to be the leader and two other shoots to be subordinate to it and function as your first scaffolds. You can accomplish this by pinching those two shoots back a bit during the growing season. You can leave some others to be temporary branches but keep them subordinate to the chosen ones.

If no other potential scaffolds form during the growing season from your new leader you can repeat the process maybe a foot up from where you topped the tree this year next season.

For an Asian pear I would use 4 scaffold branches to create an open center tree because they don't tend to create a lot of secondary wood, but I agree with FN that the less you prune to eventually get where you are going, the better. You can leave plenty of temporary branches until the tree is bearing crop and then begin to remove surplus branches.

I do prefer a central leader shape for all pears (at least for their first 30 years) and go open center with plums and peaches- even very upright plums which I may keep as central leaders for as long as 10 years Peaches I will usually convert in 3 or 4.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:18PM
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Just what I was looking for. Thank you guys.

Because of deer/squirrel problems. I am heading them back to branch out at 5'. So the dear can't reach, and the squirrels can't jump the metal vent duct wrapped around trunk.

Actually last year, shinseiski last year grew 5' to be a 7' stick. Olympic grew 4' to be a 6' stick. Chojuro didn't do anything but leafed out. They are pushing out flowers and growth like crazy so far. I just wanna know how i should train them so. I can get them going correctly fromt he start.

I just want to taste their fruit but I'll take your advice and remove all the flowers.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 5:48PM
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alan haigh

You are training them just the way I do in my nursery. Most of my customers have deer and/or squirrel issues, along with coons, possums, feathered vermin, chipmunks and and occasional tree jumping or climbing woodchuck.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 6:50PM
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